Many women have done noble work, but you have surpassed them all! Proverbs 31:29 GW
The days and months tick by and another holiday is upon us. To all you moms out there, I wish you a happy Mother’s Day with your families. Whether you have outlived your children or still have them and their offspring gathered around you, you are always a mother and greatly blessed.
If I may, I choose to devote this piece to moms who live with daily heartache after the loss of one or more of their children. Every holiday brings a stab of pain. We can’t help it. We love all our children; they are most precious, but we will never forget the one we no longer can touch and love. I look into each face around the table, noting their shared characteristics, loving the shared resemblance. But at the same time, I see the face of my missing son in theirs. It stings and I wince just a little. You too?
No matter how many years it’s been and perhaps this is your first, we get through them and even have some moments of pleasure surrounded by those we love. They yearn for this day to be special. They will for us to go on; to find them to be enough. We love their intent and we try our best to be the special mom for this special day so that they are comfortable. But where is the deep comfort we long for? Not the superficial stuff just under the mask, but the deep heart stuff. You know what I mean. You know where it is. Most often it’s just too painful to poke around in there too much. I imagine it to be ten times worse than a root canal without Novocaine, as I’m sure it is.
When I ponder this question spiritually speaking, I wonder about God. Does the pain ever lessen for Him? He’s on a grief journey too. His loss is constant and unfathomable to me. If He has been present at every birth and every death since the beginning of time, that is too much grief for my mind to comprehend. But it beckons consideration, doesn’t it?
Our heavenly Father poured Himself into His Son, Jesus Christ, who poured Himself out for us. If He had not died on the cross, we’d be without hope and most miserable in our sins. But there was no heavenly system failure. Jesus followed through on what He came to do. He showed us what His Dad is like and He did not turn back from death. I get a lump in my throat when I think about my Friend dying for our sins; dying as a common criminal, a dirt bag, scum of the earth, if you will. His own people relished the kill, wanting it so badly they were willing to own it and even shouted, “His blood is on us and on our children!” (Matthew 27:25). Haunting words that continue to ricochet down the halls of time . . . they got their wish.
So God did a wondrous thing when He made Mothers, creating within them the ability to make new life. We are the product of a loving Master Designer and He does not make disposable. Ever. He loves us more than we can understand His pure love, but He has designed mothers to love deeply their unborn child as it begins to grow and kick. And then to hold their baby for the first time, looking into that sweet, puckered little face with eyes trying to focus while squinting against the harsh, bright light of their new world. This new little one has made us a family as we juggle schedules, meeting their most basic needs with loving care, which all too soon turns into car pools and packing lunches. We lie quietly in bed, listening for gentle breathing before we nod off to sleep; dreaming of all the special things we want to teach them before they fly from the nest in their quest of an exciting future of their own.
That’s the ideal. That was God’s plan. As we look at this sweet babe, who could imagine God killing the baby He just gave life too? God makes babies. He does not kill them. This has always been the work of a murdering thief (John 10:10). It is in studying God’s Word, comparing scripture with scripture and asking God to reveal His purpose in bite-sized portions for our understand is when the “light comes on” in our minds and we can begin to comprehend His will, for His thoughts are so much higher than ours (Isaiah 55:9). But He has not neglected us and He never will. He loves each one of His kids of all ages, and desires that we love Him back. And as we do, a tiny seed of faith begins to sprout and our hearts are stirred with hope, and hope does not disappoint (Romans 5:5).
Perhaps our families will carve out something different from the usual if the usual is too hard to bear. But no matter what, we are mothers. We have spent our lives investing in our children. We are entitled to have this day. We’ve “paid our dues” with bitter-sweet tears. The arms that held and rocked our sweet babies, now ache from loss. I look forward to the day when I get to squeeze the stuffin’s out of my boy who will be made all brand new. And no more death. . . . ever again. It will be a Mother’s Day like no other! But through it all, isn’t it better to risk the pain that is love?
“Just as you’ll never understand the mystery of life forming in a pregnant woman, so you’ll never understand the mystery at work in all that God does.” Ecclesiastes 11:5 MSG